Psoriasis sufferers more prone to mental health issues

September 7, 2010

Philadelphia - A new study suggests that psoriasis sufferers have an increased risk of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts, MedPage Today reports.

Philadelphia - A new study suggests that psoriasis sufferers have an increased risk of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts, MedPage Today reports.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania analyzed medical records from the General Practice Research Database in the United Kingdom. The analysis included 146,042 patients with mild psoriasis, 3,956 with severe psoriasis (those who received systemic therapy) and 766,950 non-psoriasis patients.

The study found that compared to the non-psoriasis patients, psoriasis patients had a 39 percent increase in the risk of a clinical diagnosis of depression, a 31 percent increase in the risk of anxiety, and a 44 percent increase in the risk of suicidality.

The authors cautioned that it is possible that some psoriasis therapies were associated with the mental health outcomes, rather than the disease itself. Researchers note that psoriasis is relatively common and that though the disease “has long been recognized to be associated with potentially adverse effects on mental health,” few studies have attempted to evaluate psychological outcomes in people with the disease.

The study was reported in the August issue of Archives of Dermatology.